Dentist Blog

Posts for: July, 2018

By Outlaw Dental
July 30, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  
GingivitisCouldBecomeaMoreSeriousFormofGumDisease

People with poor hygiene habits can develop a chronic form of periodontal (gum) disease known as gingivitis. Characterized by inflamed and bleeding gums, gingivitis is caused by an infection triggered by bacterial plaque, a thin film of food remnant built up on tooth surfaces.

This chronic form of gingivitis, though, can quickly escalate into more serious forms of gum disease that may lead to tooth and bone loss. One such condition is Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG), also known as “trench mouth.” ANUG is a painful condition that can appear suddenly and result in extensive tissue damage and ulcerations, particularly in the papillae, the small, triangular bits of tissue between teeth. Persons with ANUG may also develop a foul breath and taste.

Gingivitis often develops into ANUG when certain mouth conditions exist: poor diet, smoking, which can dry the mouth and disrupt healthy bacterial flora, and increased stress or anxiety. If caught early, though, ANUG is highly treatable and reversible.

After determining you have ANUG and not another condition, our first step is to relieve the symptoms with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen to manage pain and reduce swelling. We also prescribe a regimen of antibiotics like Amoxicillin (a proven antibiotic against the specific bacteria that cause ANUG). This should decrease the symptoms within 24 to 48 hours.

As the inflammation subsides we want to continue treatment by removing any plaque or calculus (hardened plaque deposits), especially in hard to reach places. This involves a technique known as scaling in which we used specialized hand tools or ultrasonic equipment to manually remove and flush away plaque and calculus.

The final step depends on you. To prevent reoccurrence, it’s important for you to consistently practice effective oral hygiene to remove plaque — brushing twice and flossing once each day, and visiting us at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups. Quitting tobacco and improving your diet will also reduce your risk for ANUG.

ANUG and any other form of gum disease can cause a lot of damage. But taking steps to care for your teeth will help keep this acute form of gingivitis from arising in the first place.

If you would like more information on gingivitis and other forms of gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Painful Gums in Teens & Adults.”


Cosmetic DentistryThose minor chips and cracks in your teeth will quickly become a thing of the past.

Ever wondered if there was a dental treatment out there that could quickly and easily reshape a tooth and improve the overall look of your smile without having to come into the office multiple times or having to spend more than you bargained for? If you said yes, then our Winter Park, FL, cosmetic dentist, Dr. James Outlaw, is here to tell you how cosmetic contouring, or tooth reshaping, might be right for you.

Tooth reshaping is a dental technique that involves removing small amounts of enamel from the tooth to reshape, resize, and even improve the surface of one or more teeth. It can quickly make you feel more confident and self-assured in your appearance.

Keep in mind that while this treatment can be great for repairing minor chips, cracks, unevenness, or surface problems, but it won’t be able to tackle more moderate-to-severe cosmetic flaws. Cosmetic contouring is perfect for someone looking to make more conservative changes to their smile that will nonetheless achieve incredible and visible results. It’s also a great option for someone who wants to tweak their smile but may be a little more anxious or apprehensive about undergoing certain dental procedures.

When you come in for cosmetic contouring, the first thing our Winter Park dentist will do is discuss the issues you are having and what your overall smile goals are. From there we will examine your smile and determine if cosmetic contouring is the right approach for giving you the results you want. If you are an ideal candidate, this procedure can be done right away.

Plus, it’s quick, easy and completely non-invasive. You won’t even need anesthesia or numbing gel beforehand because there is absolutely no discomfort involved. In less than a half hour, you could finally have a new and improved smile thanks to cosmetic contouring.

If you are interested in getting cosmetic contouring and want to find out if this is right for you then it’s time to call Outlaw Dental in Winter Park, FL. We would be happy to schedule a consultation as soon as possible or we can discuss your treatment options during your next six-month dental cleaning. Call us today to learn more.


QuittingSmokingDecreasesYourRiskofImplantFailure

If you’re considering a dental implant as a replacement for a lost tooth, you’re looking at a restoration method with an amazing 95% success rate after ten years. But that being said there’s still a risk, albeit quite low, the implant might fail.

And if you smoke, the risk is slightly higher. In a recent study of implant patients, twice as many of the failures occurred in smokers compared to non-smokers. If you’re a smoker, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome if you quit the habit.

Nicotine, a chemical within tobacco, is the primary cause for this higher risk. Besides its effect on the pleasure centers of the brain, nicotine also restricts smaller blood vessels that are abundant in the mouth and skin, causing less blood flow. As a result, the mouth doesn’t have as many antibodies and other substances available to fight infection and help traumatized tissues heal.

Because of this, as well as reduced saliva flow due to the habit, smokers have an increased risk of dental disease and are slower to respond to treatment. This can be especially problematic if the gum tissues around an implant become infected, which could lead to a catastrophic failure. Slower healing also impacts the post-surgery period when bone cells in the jaw are growing and adhering to the implant surface, forming a stronger bond.

To avoid these potential risks you should stop smoking before you undergo implant surgery. If you can’t completely kick the habit, you should at least stop a week before surgery and for two weeks after. It’s also critical that you practice good oral hygiene — both brushing and flossing — to minimize the occurrence of dental disease and see us for regular checkups and maintenance appointments.

Taking these steps will greatly increase your chances of being in the vast majority of people who continue to enjoy success with their implants for many years.

If you would like more information on the impact of smoking on dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants & Smoking.”


NoahGallowaysDentallyDangerousDancing

For anyone else, having a tooth accidentally knocked out while practicing a dance routine would be a very big deal. But not for Dancing With The Stars contestant Noah Galloway. Galloway, an Iraq War veteran and a double amputee, took a kick to the face from his partner during a recent practice session, which knocked out a front tooth. As his horrified partner looked on, Galloway picked the missing tooth up from the floor, rinsed out his mouth, and quickly assessed his injury. “No big deal,” he told a cameraman capturing the scene.

Of course, not everyone would have the training — or the presence of mind — to do what Galloway did in that situation. But if you’re facing a serious dental trauma, such as a knocked out tooth, minutes count. Would you know what to do under those circumstances? Here’s a basic guide.

If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of its socket, you need to act quickly. Once the injured person is stable, recover the tooth and gently clean it with water — but avoid grasping it by its roots! Next, if possible, place the tooth back in its socket in the jaw, making sure it is facing the correct way. Hold it in place with a damp cloth or gauze, and rush to the dental office, or to the emergency room if it’s after hours or if there appear to be other injuries.

If it isn’t possible to put the tooth back, you can place it between the cheek and gum, or in a plastic bag with the patient’s saliva, or in the special tooth-preserving liquid found in some first-aid kits. Either way, the sooner medical attention is received, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved.

When a tooth is loosened or displaced but not knocked out, you should receive dental attention within six hours of the accident. In the meantime, you can rinse the mouth with water and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) to ease pain. A cold pack temporarily applied to the outside of the face can also help relieve discomfort.

When teeth are broken or chipped, you have up to 12 hours to get dental treatment. Follow the guidelines above for pain relief, but don’t forget to come in to the office even if the pain isn’t severe. Of course, if you experience bleeding that can’t be controlled after five minutes, dizziness, loss of consciousness or intense pain, seek emergency medical help right away.

And as for Noah Galloway:  In an interview a few days later, he showed off his new smile, with the temporary bridge his dentist provided… and he even continued to dance with the same partner!

If you would like more information about dental trauma, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”


By Outlaw Dental
July 06, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry overlap. How can this be? Well, the tooth-colored filling is an excellent example of how smile fillingsaesthetics meet great oral health. Made of strong composite resin or porcelain, tooth-colored fillings meld both dental disciplines together in one great restoration. Your cosmetic dentist in Winter Park, FL, Dr. James Outlaw, recommends cosmetic fillings because of their ease of placement, strength and seamless beauty.

Do you need a filling?

You need a filling if your tooth has a cavity, or hole, in the hard outer layer called enamel. Oral bacteria caught in food residues between teeth and at the gum line cause this tooth decay as they secrete corrosive acids which penetrate enamel. Left untreated, cavities progress through inner tooth chambers.

Fortunately, your six-month check-ups at Outlaw Dental can detect decay at its earliest stages. Dr. Outlaw often sees decay on visual inspection of your teeth, but he also relies on digital X-ray imaging to uncover cavities in hidden areas of the mouth.

The filling procedure

Your cosmetic dentist in Winter Park, FL, prepares the tooth for a tooth-colored filling. When the tooth is ready, Dr. Outlaw uses a special etching liquid on the site. This mildly acidic solution helps the composite resin (glass plus acrylic) bond to the tooth enamel. He places the composite resin in layers and hardens each layer with a blue curing light. After he achieves the desired shape, he polishes the tooth to a natural-looking sheen.

Tooth-colored fillings which are made of porcelain take a different approach. These inlays or onlays are called partial crowns, and Dr. Outlaw places them in larger areas of decay or enamel breakdown. Oral impressions and detailed instructions tell the dental lab how to fabricate these restorations. Dr. Outlaw bonds them in place and cures the installation with a dental light.

The lifespan of cosmetic fillings

Expect several years from a white filling. Be sure to brush twice a day with a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste, and floss daily as the American Dental Association advises. See Dr. Outlaw twice a year. You'll receive a thorough hygienic cleaning to help prevent decay and gum disease, and your dentist will check on that filling to be sure all is well.

Contact us

Don't wait to restore a cavity. Contact Outlaw Dental right away if you suspect you have a problem tooth, and enjoy the health benefits and natural appearance of a tooth-colored filling. Call our office for an appointment in Winter Park, FL, at (407) 671-6506.